Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Anniversary Special

Dear readers,

We are now on the one year anniversary of our move to India.  Yes, July 7th 2012 was the day we all landed in 92/1, Rakshak Society to make it our home.  I felt I needed to update my blog on this memorable day. As always, I will share an experience that is so unique to India but this time, you will see me pontificating as well.

When you have lived in the United States or any other developed country for a long time, and frequented the many chain department stores such as Kmart, Kroger, Meijer etc, you forget the delicate dance of bargaining to get a better deal that is played frequently in countries where you encounter the 'owner' himself or herself trying to sell. Recently, I had the opportunity to relive those warm and fuzzy feelings that come over you when you think you have landed a great bargain.

India is a country rich in bargains if you are willing to get your feet dirty.  With the security of a trusted, local friend, I cut across "gallis" (side & back streets) with tiny houses and rows of clothes hung on clotheslines.  Amidst the myriad smells and sounds that assail your senses,  I came across a 'mojri heaven'. Mojris are special Indian slippers, decorative and colorful. Here was a vendor set up on the pavement with all kinds of goodies. So of course, with my shoe fetish, I had to stop and take a look and there was no going back. 

The pleasure of trying on these slippers standing on the edge of the pavement while hearing the cacophony of traffic behind you, wiping the sweat off your brow in the 80 degree weather and balancing precariously with one hand on your friend's shoulder, can only be experienced. I was reliving memories of my youth when pavement shopping was a regular feature given that we had little money but expensive tastes. Well, now, the expensive tastes have graduated to more expensive tastes, so I need to stretch the money when I can.

Needless to say, after much back and forth I was the proud owner of two fancy slippers for half the price that I would pay at a regular mall.  The ownership is only part of the fun.  The real joy comes in bragging rights about your wonderful bargain find and taking an insane pleasure in the looks of envy, disappointment and surprise from fellow mates who have paid the higher price.  Next time you visit India, friends, I have all these finds earmarked for you!

Changing gears a bit, since this is my anniversary special, I also wanted to spout some philosophy into the mix.  Bear with me as I turn a little nostalgic and share with you lessons learned. The last year has been all about adventure, aggravation, frustration, reconciliation and acceptance, and not always in that order. But time, the eternal healer does work wonders on the human mind.  What have I learned in the past 12 months?

Expect the unexpected
                        Bollywood may be bogus, but they definitely transport you to another  
                        realm, so ENJOY and don't OVERTHINK IT
                                                                            Always be prepared
         Suspect the worst in any situation and of any person
Cultivate relationships as that is the only way to make things work
                                        KEEP MASLOW's hierarchy in mind (When lower level
                                        needs are not met, don't expect higher level values like ethics)
See the rainbow beyond the smoke and pollution
            Perpetual Weddings, events, family gatherings are a part of everyday life, and
            the sooner you embrace them, the better.
Be the change you want to see no matter how difficult it may seem!

And finally, LIFE Is what you make of it.  You are the driver, set your GPS and  drive to your DESTINATION

Adios, readers.  Hope you enjoyed the Anniversary & Concluding blog!


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